Posts

Giving Thanks

Have you noticed how God used certain events to highlight His work?  The most appropriate time for Him to offer His Son as the ultimate sacrifice for sin was during Passover.  The New Testament gospel was first publicly preached on Pentecost, a time when devout Jews were gathered in Jerusalem.    There were days God created to accomplish His purpose, then there were other times He used established days to promote His will. The New Testament does not place much emphasis on “special days”, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we shouldn’t take advantage of our surroundings to highlight our walk with God.  Take this week for example.  Thanksgiving is not a holy day to God, but it provides His people with a natural platform to praise and honor Him.  What better backdrop for the message of Christianity than when people are thinking about their blessings and expressing appreciation for what they have received.  As we prepare for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday there are some things that …

The Aim Of Sin

There is an adage among Second Amendment advocates and those who promote gun ownership that “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”.  Last Sunday, a church in central Texas personally lived this debate.  Now before we go any further I want to be clear about my point – I am not advocating the right to carry a gun, nor am I promoting an anti-gun agenda.  As citizens of this nation we have the luxury of engaging in this public debate, but this article is about human, moral choice.  In-and-of themselves a firearm, a vehicle, a canister of oxycodone or a bottle of Jack Daniels mean nothing.  They are merely tools to be used or misused by people.  These things have no heart, no conscience, no culpability.  Yet, when we pick them up and they begin to serve our purposes – that is when we have an accountability to our fellow man and must answer to God.  As I look back on the events of the past week I am drawn to James’ description of sin.  As he begins a very practical discussion of Chri…

The Value Of You

When we hear about terrorist attacks, massacres in the Third World or cases of human-trafficking it is easy to lament the loss of the perceived value of human life.  It seems like life today just doesn’t seem to be held in the same high standard that it once occupied.  While these cases of the extreme devaluing of life get our attention, how many of us struggle with appreciating the value of our lives?  Sure, we understand the essence of life in general, but it is often easy to fail to appreciate just how special we are – no matter who we are! When we struggle with self-appreciation, let’s recall a few simple (but powerful) observations from the Bible: 1.  We are made in the image of God.  God’s crowning creative act was accompanied by this commentary, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness …” (Genesis 1:26).  No we aren’t gods, but we are fashioned after the image of the Supreme One. 2.  We are incredibly made.  David praised God’s role in his own life by observing, “……

Heroes

For the past several weeks I have been hunting for a hero, but I am not sure I am going to find one.  Throughout much of my life I have heard about the religiousness of President James A. Garfield.  Garfield was a true rags-to-riches story from the American Frontier who came of age during a time called the “Restoration Movement”.  According to several historians Mr. Garfield became a part of that religious movement; serving as a church leader and minister before pursuing a life in politics.  I liked what I had learned, so I began to do some deeper studying into the life of our twentieth president, but as I investigated I realized I was dealing with a human being.  Several of his political philosophies and core principles differ from mine and his political career was touched by scandal.   I am continuing my discovery, but the jury is still out on whether I will adopt him as one of my heroes or not.  The reason I share this is that I am learning something about heroes.  As much as we wo…

Modern Evangelism

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20) When Jesus issued what has been called the Great Commission it appears that His intent was for all believers in all eras to take His message around the world.  Through the years this challenge has been fulfilled by Christians when the populous was receptive and during eras of intense persecution.  There have been societies that have welcomed the gospel, others that have oppressed the message and prosecuted the messengers, then there have been periods when the truth has been met by a collective yawn.  There have always been individuals who were willing to hear and obey the good news, but some societies were more fertile than others. As …

What's Wrong With You?

What’s wrong with you?  When we ask this question, are we really look for a justification from the other person or are we caustically pointing out that they aren’t like us?  In all honesty, I think this is more of a declaration than a question – it  probably should be interpreted, “There is something wrong with you!”.  This seems to be the shorthand version of “How can you believe that what you are saying, doing or thinking has any credence?  You, obviously, are doing, saying or believing in a way that does not meet my approval, so you must be wrong!”.  How many people who have been confronted with this simply-worded statement have walked away from relationships?  How many have quit jobs, organizations, churches or given up on marriages?  How many have been inundated with this accusation and been emotionally scarred?  Before we move forward with our discussion, we should understand that there are some things that are inherently wrong.  Those actions, thoughts or beliefs that are in co…

Commitment

Several years ago I was asked to be on a Board of Directors for an organization.  I gladly accepted the offer and, in the beginning, I was somewhat involved; however, as the months and years passed I became  less active.  Toward the end of my tenure I might have attended some of the meetings, but that was about the extent of my involvement.  When I look back on my time with the institution – it looks good on my resume, but that’s about it.  I didn’t really add anything to the organization and I can’t say that I made any significant difference in their mission.     I could display my Board Of Directors “Thank You” plaque, but in all honesty I didn’t deserve it.  I am sure that there are some Boards that promote ceremonial membership, but, typically, when most organizations ask you to join them, they are wanting more than your name, they want involvement.  They want us to do something to enhance their outreach.  They ask for our action as well as our reputation.   The reason for this sel…